2. John Ross
This ranking is likely controversial to som. Many fans were frustrated with Ross after his injury riddled rookie season. Last year, he improved, but still didn’t perform like you would expect a 9th overall pick to. One huge positive was his incredible red zone production.
He caught five touchdowns inside the 20-yard line. One of them can be seen in the clip above from Josh Kirkendall on Twitter. That number is impressive alone, but when you consider Dalton and Green were on the shelf for much of the year, it jumps out even more.
His red zone production came as a surprise to many, but it shouldn’t have. In his senior year at Washington, he hauled in 17 touchdowns with 12 of them coming inside the money zone.
Many view him as simply having incredible straight line speed to take the top off the defense, but that isn’t the only thing that makes him special. Teammates and coaches rave about his acceleration and crisp route running. Both of these attributes are extremely valuable to create separation when the field shortens.
When Green was down last season, Ross became the number one red zone weapon. You can expect him to resume that role until Green comes back this year. Even once Green returns, don’t be shocked if Ross remains Dalton’s safety net in the red zone.